24 Sep

The Devotional Connection

We in Sikkim, Bhutan and Nepal experienced 3 continuous earthquakes a few days ago. On one hand, I was very sad about those people and all living beings who were killed in the tragedy and as I said, we had to take this as an alarm clock, to wake us up in terms of protecting our environment and our nature. On the other hand, a secret that I didn’t want to share earlier is that I believe this series of earthquakes, though unfortunate, were connected with the enlightenment of my beloved guru who had just left us.

When Buddha attained enlightenment, 6 earthquakes happened almost in one sequence. When Kunkhyen Longchen Rabjampa left his body and dissolved his body into nirvana, 9 sets of huge earthquakes happened. When the 4th Drukpa Kunkhyen Pema Karpo passed away, for many days, earthquakes happened. When the 13th Dalai Lama left this world, Tibet experienced one of its biggest earthquakes.

If you don’t believe it, it doesn’t matter. My superstition says so, since he is my guru. I believe he had already attained enlightenment a long time ago, but he is showing the signs of enlightenment for our sake. These are signs that he is confirming to us that he will be resting in the realm of enlightenment at least for a while. I know that it is difficult to believe and it also doesn’t make much sense. That I know. This is one of those things that we don’t have to discuss and talk very much in details.

Along with 600 monks and nuns, I had just finished 2 days of intensive prayers. It is of course a very sad moment for us, but one thing that we should be very positive about is that his reincarnation will be swiftly returning, in order to benefit many people like us. The reason why I am saying this is because he has not finished his temple which is just next to me, and there are many signs that I can see that show that he had left without all his wishes being fulfilled. So naturally he will come back quickly to finish all these unfinished work that he had left behind in this life. Not only this life, but also next life and lives to come, he still has big job to do, because looking after all of us in terms of giving teaching is a huge responsibility. He has a long way to go because we all are difficult to be trained.

Lama Chodpa was performed in connection with the Drukpa Lineage, as it is a practice to do with root guru and guru devotion. We did that along with 100,000 Ganachakra and today, we did the Yangtik practice specially connected with the late Guru himself. I have a very special connection with this practice. It was given or handed over to me personally by him. My beloved Guru told me to practise this for the sake of all sentient beings and he was also highlighting that I would be the main holder of this particular terma practice. He spent a lot of time giving teaching and elaborating the instructions etc to me. So therefore I decided to offer this along with the nuns who did with beautiful voice and with a lot of devotees who have strong devotion towards the Yangtik practice.

One sad thing I realised is that he had departed at least 5 to 6 years earlier than expected. I guess he might have been very disappointed with some of his students and followers for years, and that might have caused his premature departure. I don’t want to go through the details here because it’s not a nice thing to talk about. Nevertheless, if I were him, I would have departed years ago already. I know some people like my father would say, “Enlightened beings should never be disheartened by any kind of circumstances.” I fully agree with that, yet it doesn’t work that way. So I always feel, if I may daringly say, 95% of a genuine master’s longevity fully depends on the students, especially the beloved students. 5% is due to medicine, food, air, and other things. So you need to understand what is the role of a student and it’s not so easy to be a good student and commit yourself. It is really risky because we can almost say that the life of your guru is in your hands. But without this kind of devotional guru disciple relationship, enlightenment is almost impossible and if I dare say, forget about enlightenment, we are just here playing drama!

If the masters are egoistic and working under the influence of the 8 worldly dharmas, this kind of incidents will not cause that much disappointment for them, because the goal or aim is different. Aim of such type of masters is to have fame and to collect a large quantity of students, quality is not important at all to them. But the aim of genuine masters is entirely different. Although they wouldn’t mind to have a large following, the main target is to have quality students. This is something that as students you should know what kinds of Gurus you are following. A genuine Guru needs to have quality students so that his or her lineage can be continued without any defilements. In Vajrayana, samaya is a big issue and yet we don’t discuss much about it, in fact some of us have given up teaching it or talking about it. It’s not worthwhile to even spend time, especially in the middle of the night, nagging about the importance of harmony and the importance of transforming emotions into devotion. A genuine Guru needs the support of great or quality disciples. When it comes to this, I am quite lost and speechless, or wordless.

One should be arranging quite nicely ahead of settling down along with the guru devotion. If you would like to be a naughty student whose aim in engaging in spiritual practice is not for the enlightenment in benefits of others, then you are naturally recommended to be a follower of a master who doesn’t care about the quality but only the quantity. And if you are serious that you aspire to be a good student and you really want to be enlightened and free, then look for a master who cares a lot more about the quality of his or her students than the quantity, because you can fulfill the master’s wishes, that will be the greatest offering, because by helping in the longevity of a genuine master, the merit you are accumulating is beyond any imagination.

These days, the funniest thing is that people have certain amount of love and affection towards their gurus, and I know they truly want their gurus to live long, yet they don’t behave and it’s really like licking honey off the edge of a knife. You have a romatic idea of being with your guru, towards the end you destroy yourself and go to hell through destroying the life of your guru. This is like a beautiful lie to you yourself, you are deceiving yourself.

As an initiative connection, you may like to have a romantic relationship with the guru, having a great romance and all these things, eventually whole thing will be dangerous, not only for guru himself or herself, for yourself as a student too. You got to be really careful!

As you know, together with Khamtrul Rinpoche, I will be giving some instructions on the practice of Throma Nagmo, a wrathful form of Dakini practice, which has a very short and fresh lineage. I have received it very purely from my late gurus and also my own father, in fact I have received it several times. Because between Guru Rinpoche and me, the lineage has gone through not more than 3 or 4 great Gurus, I am very happy to be able to share this with all those who are connected with Guru Rinpoche and my own lineage. Many people often doubt about my intention whenever I say “lineage”, I have no intention to promote sectarianism, in fact in order to be practising non-sectarianism, you need to be practising with a lineage, without which, there is no blessing and there is no way to be enlightened. First of all, unless you have 240 hours in a day and you have no samsaric worries, how are you going to find time to practise everything from Buddhism to Judaism? The smart way is to get the universal wisdom and comnpassion from the one lineage that you are connected to. That’s all I am saying. But we all have to respect all the different lineages, not only that, all the spiritual beliefs that can bring the realisation of the mind.

Speaking of samaya and all these different things, I really find that gossips and idle talks are really killer to not only devotional relationship between a guru and his or her disciples, but also the samaya relationship between Vajra brothers and sisters under the same guru. My advice is that for older practitioners, ignore those useless and harmful gossips. See them as great opportunities to practise understanding and compassion. For newer practitioners, do not get involved, ignore people who like to habitually gossip about others and avoid company of gossipers. If you befriend gossipers, you will become like them. For beginners who are interested in the spiritual path, there are a few things to say. First of all, you must be seeking a path leading to genuine happiness, happiness can only be achieved if you make others happy, therefore do not harm even with unkind words and do not create disharmony through making up stories or criticising others; creating disharmony in a group of spiritual practitioners, especially those under the same guru, is a big accumulation of negative karma. Secondly, before you talk, take a minute and think whether what you are going to say is harmful or helpful or just gossips to entertain your own ego, if it is not helpful for your own spiritual development, dissolve these words into emptiness and don’t say anything. Thirdly, speak less and if you are the sort of persons who love to talk, use your time to recite mantra, whatever mantra that you Gurus teach you. Lastly, think of the good things in this world that make you happy, I believe that if your mind is happy, your jealousy, pride, ignorance, anger and greed all these poisonous afflictions will be reduced, with that your speech will be more positive and your mind will be more positive. And last of the last, be less nosy, mind your own business and develop your inner path. It’s better to look at yourself than to point the fingers at others, because when you look and examine yourself, there is always a chance to improve, but when you point the fingers at others, you will create negative feeling and end up with one or a few more enemies. So when I say all these things, don’t bother to think who I am referring to, I am not referring to anyone, this is for everyone to use that to check yourself. While I am writing, I am checking myself too!

You may think that speech is harmless, but negative speech especially those baseless criticisms and gossips harm you more than anything else. For this reason, I think that during the forthcoming short Throma Nagmo retreat in Druk Amitabha Mountain, all the participating practitioners should observe the vow of silence. This will help to increase the concentration of our spiritual understanding. That’s all for now, I hope this is long enough for you to read for at least a few days.